KIEV -- Ukrainian activists battled police for a second night in the capital, defying new laws to subdue anti-government rallies that began two months ago.

By last evening in Kiev, protesters throwing Molotov cocktails at police were met by rubber bullets and smoke bombs. Activists began building a catapult to launch projectiles. Smoke and sound bombs were exchanged in subzero temperatures and police vehicles were burned. More than 200 people were injured.

President Viktor Yanuko-vych's opponents have held out on Kiev's Independence Square as demonstrations against his snub of a European Union cooperation deal got a boost from police crackdowns in November and December. Parliament passed laws last week to curb the protests, drawing rebukes from the EU and the United States, which blamed the government for the latest violence.

"They wanted to frighten people but they gathered again -- people showed their readiness to fight with the authorities, ignoring the laws," Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Penta Political Analysis Center in Kiev, said. "There's a radical mood, and the authorities aren't pleased."

Protesters gathered on Independence Square for an eighth day. Some in orange helmets attacked buses used by police to block a street, setting several on fire. -- Bloomberg News

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